This may be old news by now, but better late than never.

Last weekends race at Hopkins Park was just about a perfect. This is our third year and the event just keeps getting smoother and smoother. This year, we decided to make things more interesting (for us and for the racers) by building the now famous Flyover.

The Flyover was brilliant. Mr. John Arends, father of “Crash” Arends, was the genius that took the crayola blueprint and made it reality – a stout, heavy, sectional and smart reality. We could not have done without him and the rest of the Arends family.

Saturday.

Getting the flyover to the park was much easier than we had anticipated due to the generous manpower that showed up that Saturday morning. It was a proud moment to see so many friends show up at 7am on a crisp fall morning – most of whom weren’t racers or staff of the bike shop. We also had the assistance of Arik Gum who has made a minor career of saving our butts.

We had the flyover moved to the park and sitting mostly upright by noon. It was amazing. Then we had an incredible lunch presented by the Queen of Checkpoint #3, Anna Anderson.  The picture didn’t show this, but she’d brought fresh cookies, Apples & Caramel, a veggie plate, and yummy sodas, too.

The ladies from HAC made the flyover pretty with consistent colors and phrases – it literally took the whole day to figure out the phrases to paint on the steps. One can’t be too hasty when it comes to spray paint…

We staked and taped all day while the flyover crew finished the details. The course came together quite well – we added some twists and took out some straights. Marking the course always brings out a little evil in me. I like making it tough, and every time I think I should change it to make it easier, I’m talked out of it (sometimes by someone else). All the volunteers on Saturday worked hard to get it done.

The Park District allowed us to bring the flyover as long as we had someone guarding it the whole night. This was something that sounded fun up until the actual moment it was required. It was supposed to dip into the 30s that night. The ubiquitous Jeremiah from HAC stood guard into the night and Josh finished the job – sleeping out on top of the flyover until daybreak.

Sunday

We were back at the park at 7am and there were already people rolling in. The races started earlier this year, so we had to be up and running by 8am. Chris and his team of registration wizards made it happen. I was exceedingly thankful for a few helpers at the reg table to were familiar with the process and made things run smoothly.

As were were getting the officials set up, there was a few murmurs about the safety of the flyover. The transition from the ramp to the ground was a little “abrupt” and they feared it could be an issue for less skilled riders. The first few races went over it well, but we were noticing some nasty sounds coming from the riders and their bikes as they rolled off the ramp. Quick like a bunny, Brian Van and Josh whipped up a 8×8 transition piece to mellow it out. The only casualties from the flyover were a few snapped seatposts, a few spokes, and a bruised ego or two. Everyone else loved it.

The response to the course was phenomenal. It was a tough course, but it was fun. We removed some of the “recovery sections”, but kept it flowy.

Here are videos of the 4B race, courtesy of Omar:

That gives you a nice feel for the flow of the course. Now if you can only imagine riding that cross-eyed with a parched mouth and a reoccurring urge to barf – you got yourself a cross race.

Even the pro’s liked it. Barry Wicks and James Lalonde, deadly racers on any ground, showed up and dominated Hopkins Park.

The OUISSCXSC was a success again this year. Here’s the podium, sans Lalonde.

By the end of the day, the flyover hecklers were in true form. It was fun to be on both ends of that madness. There were handups galore, some healthy, some… notsomuch.

The pictures tell the rest of the stories – who won, who lost, who fell, who fainted. I’ll let those finish the tale. You can find a healthy list of galleries here and find our modest collection, courtesy of Eric, Chad, and JD here.

I will take a moment to list some heroes of the day – Chris Jenson, Josh Arends, Al Thom, The NCC Crew, this girl, Jeremiah, Gavin, Erica and the HAC Paint Crew, Arik Gum, all the Saturday volunteers, Pop’s & his grill, Cousin Mike, Broken Leg Reg Lady, HAC Bake Sale Crew, everyone else who volunteered, and Evan.

Also, a rad hand to Surly, Louis Garneau, Trek, Lazer, Ridley, and QBP for their generosities.

At the end of the day, we dismantled the flyover and hauled it over to storage. We had another kind crew of volunteers and it took no time to get it stored. We were all ready for the day to be done. It was a great day. Here’s the last image of the day – three ridiculously exhausted men sitting on a pile of wooden glory.

Advertisements